Biography of Dunham O. Munson, M. D.

Dunham O. Munson, M. D., is one of the leading specialists of Southeastern Kansas. He has practiced at Pittsburg upwards of twenty years, and while the earlier part of his practice was devoted to general medicine and surgery, for the past five years he has given his time exclusively to the diseases of the eye, ear, nose and throat.

He is a man of splendid attainments in his profession and undoubtedly inherits much from his fine old Ameriean ancestry. He was born at Brockport, New York, June 27, 1859, but a part of his early life was spent in Ontario, Canada. He attended the public school and high school at Bowmanville in Ontario, was graduated from high school in 1879 and then removed to Detroit, Michigan, where he spent a number of years as bookkeeper with a music house. He had a long and varied business career before entering his profession. For four years Doctor Munson was in the real estate business at Denver, Colorado. He had long cherished an ambition to enter the field of medicine, and finally removed to St. Louis and became a student in the Marion-Sims College of Medicine, now the medical department of St. Louis University. He was graduated there M. D. in 1896. In the past twenty years Doctor Munson has been continuously a student and a close follower of every advance made in his special line of practice. After beginning private practice at St. Louis in 1896, he has taken post-graduate work in the Chicago Policlinic, the Illinois Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Inflrmary, the Chieago Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat College, and also in the St. Louis University and the various hospitals and clinics there.

Doctor Munson practiced in St. Louis until 1898, in which year he removed to Pittsburg, Kansas. During 1900-02 he also practiced at Cherokee. For about twelve years he looked after a general medical and surgical practice, but has been an exclusive specialist for the past five years. His office are in the Globe Building at Pittsburg.

For two years Doctor Munson served as county health officer, was city physician of Pittsburg three years, and during his residence at Cherokee was railroad surgeon for the Frisco, served as mayor of that town and as president of the school board. He is affiliated with Girard Lodge of the Masons, Cherokee Chapter Royal Arch Masons, and Palestine Commandery No. 28 Knights Templars at Girard. His church membership is in the Episcopal denomination. He is an active member of the Crawford County and the State Medical Society and belongs to the Pittsburg Country Club.

In 1889 at Greeley, Colorado, Doctor Munson married Miss Magdalene Begert. Her father Jacob Begert, who died at Medicine Lodge, Kansas, in 1914, was a farmer, and his wife now resides in New Sharon, Iowa. The Begert family came to America about 1856 from the vicinity of Lake Luzerne and Berne, Switzerland. They settled in Brockport, New York, where Mrs. Munson was born April 7, 1867. Mrs. Munson is an active member of the State Federation of Women’s Clubs. Doctor and Mrs. Munson have one son, Herbert Edwin, who was born in Chillicothe, Illinois, November 6, 1896, is a graduate of the Pittsburg High School, and is now a sophomore in the School of Journalism at the Missouri State University.

By reason of his descent from a line of very prominent and patriotic American ancestors Doctor Munson has membership in the Sons of the American Bevolution, the Order of Washington, the Society of Colonial Wars and the Founders and Patriots of Ameries. Eligibility to membership in the order of Founders and Patriots of America is based upon the following qualifications: Twenty-one years of age, of good moral character and reputation, a citizen of the United States, and one who is lineally descended in the male line of either parents from an ancestor who settled in any of the colonies now included in the United States of America prior to May 13, 1657, and one or all of whose intermediate ancestors in the same line, living during the period of the Revolution from 1775 to 1783 adhered as patriots to the cause of the colonies. Doctor Munson is also deputy vice commander for Kansas of the Order of Washington. A candidate for membership in this order must have descended in the male or female line from a male ancestor who assisted the colonies in obtaining independence, and the revolutionary ancestor must have descended in the direct male line from an ancestor who was in the colonies prior to 1750 and who or whose son held at some time an official position during the colonial period or was the founder of a town or was in the military or naval service, or was a minister of the gospel. Probably few persons understand what the qualifications for membership in these various orders are, and it will therefore be of special interest to trace Doctor Munson’s ancestry.

I. Capt. Thomas Munson, the ancestor of all the Munsons in the United States, was born in 1612 and died in 1685. He came from England, and in 1637 was one of the forty-two men of Hartford, Connecticut, who served under Captain Mason in the Pequot Indian war. He was of New Haven, where he signed the Fundamental Agreement in 1639. He was lieutenant in 1664-76, served under Captain Treat in the King Phillip war; was captain in 1676 of the New Haven Militia. Captain Thomas was elected to the Plantation Court in 1662. He was foreman of the first grand jury empaneled in New Haven; also a member of the Supreme Court of Appeals. In 1666 he was elected deputy to the General Assembly, serving in this capacity for twenty-four sessions.

II. Samuel Munson, born August 7, 1643, according to the New Haven First Church record, was married according to the town record October 26, 1665, to Marths, daughter of William and Alice (Pritchard) Bradley. Samuel died in 1693 in Wallingford, Connecticut. He was deputy from New Haven to the General Court of Connecticut, 1665, 1678, 1680, 1683. Samuel Munson with thirty-eight others of New Haven founded Wallingford, Connecticut. The General Court of Hartford on May 12, 1669, “doe grant liberty to make a village on the East River.” Among the names signed to the agreement appear those of Samuel Munson, Thomas Yale, Thomas Curtis, Samuel Peck and John Peck, Joseph Benham, John Brockett and Nathaniel How. A record of the General Court October 19, 1675, reads: “This court confirms Samuel Munson ensigne Wallingford Traine Band.”

III. Samuel Munson, born February 28, 1669, at Wallingford, Connecticut, married Marths ________ She died January 7, 1707. He married the widow of Caleb Merriman, daughter of Elinsaph Preston. She died November 28, 1755. Samuel died November 23, 1741, aged seventy-three, at Wallingford. He was town clerk at Wallingford twenty-nine years. In October, 1712, the General Court divided the Traine Band of Wallingford, “Samuel Munson to be ensigne of the west company of Traine Band.”

IV. William Munson, born October 13, 1695, at Wallingford, Connecticut, married Rebecca, daughter of Thomas Curtis of Wallingford. William died July 21, 1773, at Waterbury, Connecticut. Thomas Curtis, whose daughter Rebecea married William [p.2041] Munson, was born in 1648, died in 1736; was ensigne Wallingford Traine Band 1704, and original proprietor and signer of the Covenant 1669; deputy colonial legislature 1689, 1714, 1717; constable 1681; town treasurer, 1686. Thomas Curtis married Mary Merriman of Wallingford June 9, 1674-5. She was born in New Haven in 1657, and died in Wallingford. John Curtis, father of Thomas, was born in Nazing, Essex County, England, in 1611, died in Stratford, Connecticut, 1707, aged ninety-six. He married Elizabeth Welles, who died in Stratford, Connecticut, March 9, 1681-2. John Curtis was a soldier in King Phillip’s war and attained the rank of ensign. He was one of the original patentees of Stratford, Connecticut, and in the patent was called “Sergeant John Curtis.”

V. William Munson, born July 5, 1731, at Wallingford, Connecticut, married Sarah, daughter of Isaac Griggs, Wallingford, February 28, 1753. He died May 26, 1815. His wife died October 7, 1806, at Waterbury, Connecticut. William served in the Revolutionary war as a private. He enlisted May 26, 1777, in Capt. David Smith’s Company, Connecticut Battalion, served three years, discharged May 26, 1780, as a private from Maj. David Smith’s Company, Eighth Connecticut Regiment, Col. Isaac Sherman.

VI. Elisha Munson, born October 10, 1756, at Waterbury, Connecticut, married September 3, 1783, Mabel Homeston, daughter of Joy Homeston (Humestone). Elisha died in 1835 at Prospect, Connecticut. Ellisha enlisted with his father William on the same day and in the same company and was discharged on the same day and in the same company. The battles engaged in were Harlem, Germantown and Monmouth. Elisha was pensioned. Both these patriots were with Washington at Valley Forge.

VII. Limus Joy Munson, grandfather of Doctor Munson of Pittsburg, who therefore represents the ninth generation of the family in America, was born at Prospect, Connecticut, in 1800. In 1821 in Canton, New York, he married Lorene Weller. She was born in Canton in 1800, and died in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada, in 1876. Limus J. Munson, who was a carriage manufacturer, died at Cobourg, Canada, in 1835.

VIII. David Ezra Munson, father of Doctor Munson, was born at Prospect, Connecticut, in 1832. He spent his early life in Prospect, and in Cobourg, Ontario, and in Rochester, New York. He also became a carriage manufacturer, and followed that business largely in Canada and died at Gault, Ontario, in 1888. He was a member of the Methodist Church and a thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason. In 1856 he married Amy Oekerman, who was born in Belleville, Ontario, in 1834, and is now living at the age of eighty-two in California. Her children were two in number, the older being Doctor Munson. The daughter Frances A. lives in Los Angeles, California, and is the widow of the late Charles Lypps, who was an oil operator and was killed in an automobile accident in Los Angeles May 19, 1913.



Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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